GOP again criticizes Sen. McCaskill over personal wealth

3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago Friday, June 29 2018 Jun 29, 2018 Friday, June 29, 2018 4:21:00 AM CDT June 29, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Republican opponents of Missouri's Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill are criticizing her wealth as she makes a bid for a third term, a tactic that's failed to bring her down in past elections but could continue to dog her campaign.

While McCaskill says she's spent her career fighting for Missourians on pocketbook issues by supporting policies such as cutting red tape for businesses and federal job training programs, Republican challenger Josh Hawley has described her as "rich and liberal."

An analysis by Roll Call ranked McCaskill the 24th richest member of Congress, with an estimated $26.9 million net worth. Much of her wealth is attributed to the business success of her husband, Joseph Shepard, which was already well-established when they married in 2002.

The latest criticisms center on news reports that her husband has invested $1 million in Matrix Capital Management, a U.S.-based fund that feeds into a "master fund" located in the Cayman Islands. Hawley spokeswoman Kelli Ford called McCaskill a "phony" after she previously co-sponsored legislation that would target tax havens, but McCaskill spokeswoman Meira Bernstein has said she makes policy decisions based on what's good for Missourians, not her husband.

McCaskill has also faced pushback over her use of a private plane during some parts of a state tour that her campaign promoted with photos of her campaign RV.

McCaskill spokesman Eric Mee said that it "must be campaign season again; the party of Donald Trump is attacking Claire for her husband's wealth." When asked whether her finances impact her ability to serve Missourians' interests, he said: "No. Does Donald Trump's?"

Hawley makes a roughly $153,000 salary as Missouri's attorney general. Financial disclosure forms list him and his wife, Erin Hawley, as having a minimum of about $520,000 in assets — substantially smaller than Shepard's fortune, but enough for the family to afford some luxuries. Erin Hawley, who grew up on a ranch, in a statement said she recently saved up to buy the family horse, Snap, "because I want the boys to learn how to ride and punch cows."

McCaskill's political opponents have long sought to make an issue of her wealth.

Her gubernatorial primary opponent, former Gov. Bob Holden, in 2004 aired an ad accusing Shepard of running dangerous nursing homes that helped finance McCaskill's campaign. In the 2006 Senate race, Republican Sen. Jim Talent ran an ad accusing Shepard and McCaskill of using an insurance company based in the Bahamas as a tax shelter, which they denied. During McCaskill's last re-election bid, former Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Akin ran an ad criticizing about $1 million in housing subsidies financed through the 2009 stimulus act that went to businesses affiliated with Shepard.

She also sold a private plane she co-owned with her husband in 2011 after her use of it for official business and back taxes created a political headache.

But Democratic consultant Jack Cardetti, who helped with McCaskill's 2006 U.S. Senate race, said "in each and every instance, the attacks on her family have fallen flat."

Retired Missouri State University political scientist Mark Rushefsky said attempts to label McCaskill as an "elitist, out-of-touch" candidate this time around likely are aimed at tapping into President Donald Trump's resonance with the white working class during his 2016 campaign.

Rushefsky said there's also some irony in the criticism, although he said it could be effective.

"It's kind of funny that Republicans, which have a billionaire president, are attacking somebody for having personal wealth," he said.

Cardetti said Missouri Republicans' support for Trump will make attacks on McCaskill "reek of hypocrisy." Republican consultant John Hancock said there's a difference.

"It's less about the wealth and more about the perception that she tries to create that she's just one of the folks out there," Hancock said. "Donald Trump's never pretended to be anything other than a very, very wealthy businessman."

The digs on McCaskill struck a chord with mid-Missouri Republican Chris Milburn, a former Camden County Republican Club treasurer. He said flying in a private plane and her Missouri mansion and Washington, D.C. condo mean McCaskill "can't be in touch with the citizens of Missouri."

Some Missouri Democrats say it has no impact on her work.

"I've had a chance to be in the room with Sen. McCaskill several times, and the word that comes to mind is not 'wealthy,'" Greene County Democratic Party Executive Director Skyler Johnston said. "That's not her persona."

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court has given members of Congress a pile of material... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:52:51 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:28:05 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The man accused of carrying out last month's deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper has been indicted on... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:42:30 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Show-Me State Games kick off Friday, bringing thousands of athletes, coaches and fans from around the... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – Seven locations throughout the state are open Saturday for parents to come and get their children I.D.’d, free... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:58:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin already had a "Little Nugget" onesie picked out for her before she arrived in... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:35:28 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An organization backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives in Missouri has continued to bring... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 11:26:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A group of Columbia moms is starting Missouri Disability Empowerment, a new organization with big goals to help... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 6:33:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - 64 years later, a different lake and nearly triple the death toll, the duck boat... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 9:12:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into the online accounts of staffers on three congressional campaigns in the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:46:27 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrates being chosen Friday to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, an... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:05:32 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was killed Friday morning in a bicycle-to-bicycle drive-by shooting... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:34:02 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will move into a new neighborhood over the next few weeks. In July,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Steedman man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of domestic... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of his 77-year-old grandmother while he... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:59:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:38:16 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty will resign from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sunday in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 12:57:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY — The Cole County Sheriff’s Department responded to possible weapons violation on Thursday night. When the officers... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
3am 70°
4am 69°
5am 68°
6am 68°